Salma Hage, a Lebanese  cook from Mazarat Tiffah in the mountains of the Kadisha Valley in north Lebanon, has over 50 years experience of cooking Lebanese food. Her book The Lebanese Kitchen is a classic and she won the 2017 James Beard Foundation Book Awards  Winner for her book on Vegetable Cooking. You couldn't have a better friend in the kitchen holding your hand as you make dishes for a mezze from her newest cookbook The Mezze Cookbook (just in time for Christmas gifting!). A mezze is a traditional meal where there are lots of small sharing plates that everyone can dip into, many of which can be made in advance to save time.

Three recipes from The Mezze Cookbook to introduce you to the joys of 'mezze', sharing plates from the middle-east.
Salma Hage | The Mezze Cookbook | Chicken Fatteh
Salma Hage | The Mezze Cookbook | Blood Orange Sorbet
Salma Hage | The Mezze Cookbook | Roasted Baby Beetroots (Beets) with Za’atar Labneh



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How to Cook | How to Bake Plums

How to Cook | How to Bake Plums

Baking fruit helps to keep its shape. Pop the plums in the oven at the end of cooking a roast and dessert will be ready by the time you finish the main course. Serve the plums warm or cold with ice-cream, Greek yogurt or sour cream. Add a sprinkling of crushed nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup for an extra treat. Plus variations on the recipe for vanilla plums, cardamom plums and more.

How to Cook | How to Cook an Ox Tongue

You rarely see tongue in butcher’s shops now yet any Irish childhood would be bereft without it.Ox tongue has a buttery texture and a deep savoury flavour. A whole ox tongue from a butcher weighs about 1kg and costs 7-8 euro according to James Kenny of the The Brown Pig Butchers in Terenure in Dublin who can see signs that it’s coming back into fashion again as people look for meaty cuts that are economical and low in fat.